End of the World, The

From Wind Repertory Project
Michael Schelle

Michael Schelle

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General Info

Year: 2011
Duration: c. 13:40
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Michael Schelle
Cost: Score and Parts - Unknown


1. The Exhausted Sun – 5:35
2. Bullet Train to Hell – 2:50
3. After Afterlife – 5:15


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Written during the blistering, record-breaking heat wave of summer 2011, The End of the World was inspired, in some part, by the notorious cataclysmic end-of-the-world prophecy of Nostradamus (scheduled for late December 2012) and the Mayan calendar’s end-of-time prediction (also, according to some, on the immediate horizon). The primary source of inspiration, however, was the great earthquake and tsunami that leveled much of northern Japan in March 2011. My original plan was for a “serious” Nostradamus-related piece, but fate interceded: As I began work on the music in spring 2011, I was heartbroken by the fear, disbelief and sadness on the face of my Japanese wife, composer/pianist Miho Sasaki, as she sat paralyzed by her emotions, watching televised images of her homeland’s devastation. So my piece took its shape and inspiration from this disaster.

At the end of the day (or the end of the world), doomsday predictions are ephemeral, but Japan’s 3/11/11 cataclysm will have a profound international impact on generations to come. Besides, as I spoke with one of the consortium directors about my Nostradamus vs. Japan dilemma, it dawned on me that both subjects might very likely produce a similar score -- so I chose to just embrace it all and seek the optimistic “substance after shadows” (Shinto prayer) for resolution.

As old Nostradamus's predictions have come and gone without incident, and the Japanese people have (once again) picked themselves up from the ashes and resiliently moved on, now my piece may take on more universal considerations: perhaps reflecting on each listener’s personal experience(s) with the loss of important persons, places, or things.

The End of the World is a commission from a consortium group of 35 university and professional symphonic bands / wind ensembles from across the U.S. and abroad. In December 2012, selected from over 80 international entries, The End of the World was awarded the 2012 National Band Association "William D. Revelli Composition Prize".

- Program Note by composer


  • National Band Association/William D. Revelli Composition Prize, 2012, winner


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Connecticut (Storrs) Wind Ensemble (Vu Nguyen, cond.) – 14 November 2019
  • University of South Florida (Matthew McCutcheon, conductor) - April 2014
  • University of New Mexico (Eric Rombach-Kendall, conductor) - April 2014
  • University of Michigan (Mark Norman, conductor) - March 2014
  • Kansas State University (Frank Tracz, conductor) - December 2013
  • Indiana University Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) - 5 November 2013
  • Indiana University Fort Wayne (Dan Tembras, conductor) - October 2013
  • Arizona State University (Gary Hill, conductor) - September 2012
  • Illinois Wesleyan University (Steven Eggleston, conductor) - February 2012
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette Wind Ensemble (William Hochkeppel, conductor) – 28 March 2012
  • Indiana Wind Symphony (Charles Conrad, conductor) - 30 October 2011

Works for Winds by This Composer